I've been working on my book and today I was just feeling irrelevant and down and thinking that I just didn't have anything much to contribute to the whole discourse on human health, security and happiness as it depends on the well-being of our habitat. I just couldn't get any writing done.
So, for a break, I wandered over to the used book store where we get our books, the Strand, to hear Ed Begley, Jr, star of the environmental reality show, Living with Ed, talk about his new book, Living Like Ed.
He was smart and great and funny and had lots of good things to say. When his talk was over I went to get my book signed. Like I say, I was feeling a bit down so I almost didn't tell him about the No Impact project, but I forced myself.
"Wait," he said. "You're that guy? You're No Impact Man? And you came to hear me talk? What an honor!"
I mean, I hope it isn't crass to say that he said those things, but I was just feeling like such a loser today, and it made me feel so good that he had even heard of the No Impact project. It kind of boosted my morale. It made me feel like I'll be able to write again tomorrow. Plus, he wrote in my copy of his book, "To No Impact Man, My hero."
Anyway, during his talk he discussed electric cars and someone raised their hand and said wouldn't we be better off without cars altogether? Ed said that electric cars were better but they weren't the final answer. Electric cars aren't going to make us happy, he said. Not even solar panels are going to make us happy.
Then he said that he'd once seen a bumper sticker that said "Whoever has the most toys when he dies wins." The problem is, if we live as though we believe that, we actually lose. The planetary habitat we depend upon for our health, happiness and security can't sustain it.
"And you know," Ed said, "I've never seen a hearse with a luggage rack on top."
Colin Beavan (that's me!) is now leading a conversation about finding a happy, helpful life at Colinbeavan.com. If you want to know how people are breaking out and and finding authentic, meaningful lives that help our world, check it out the blog here and sign up to join the conversation here.